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October 04, 2010

Avaya: Millennials Are Changing the Game for the Contact Center

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines

Gen X and, especially, Gen Y, consumers are creating seismic shifts in communications trends, tolerance levels to less than ideal customer service, and the level of risk for those that fail to meet expectations.

Wendy Mikkelsen, Avaya’s (News - Alert) director of product marketing, explained how and why at Sunday night’s Avaya Technology on Tap event collocated with ITEXPO this week in Los Angeles.

She said 92 percent of customers form an opinion about a company through its interaction center. But, more importantly, a whopping 73 percent of Gen X and Yers will go to the competition after just one bad experience with a company. And 85 percent will tell others about their poor experience, Mikkelsen added, noting that they now not only have word of mouth, but they also can express their frustrations to the world at large via social networking.

“We only have one shot with these millennials, and we have to make it work the first time,” she said. “That’s the bottom line.”

She mentioned that contact centers can do that by avoiding lost data, which is a common occurrence when contact center callers get transferred from one customer service agent to another. About 25 percent of data is lost in a typical call center rep transfer, she added.

The Avaya marketing director also talked about the importance of persistent context, so customer care employees can deliver an optimized customer experience and “so the agent doesn’t like an idiot, frankly.”

Generation X and Y consumers apparently don’t suffer fools gladly.

This cross-section of the population typically has neither the time, patience, nor attention span to sit through a series of customer contact representatives that sometimes seem incapable of helping them find an answer to their concern. However, with new, integrated contact center tools from Avaya, Mikkelsen suggested, they don’t have to.

Edited by Patrick Barnard


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